AND THEN AGAIN… Tamara Pettit

……..And here I  sit again on New Year’s Eve.  There are reports of parties and dancing even drinking and frivolity.  But, in all my years, I never saw it.  Once I was old enough to go drinking and dancing, I was already a young mother.  Oh, we would always talk about going out for New Years, but the cost and securing a babysitter just didn’t seem worth the effort.  And, then there were those things that interfered with plans: the kids’ dad working overtime for C&P Telephone on an icy night; Shannon breaking out in chicken pox only an hour before the baby sitter arrived;  morning sickness that didn’t honor a clock and extended into the evening hours.   Not to say I haven’t had exciting New Year’s Eves.   I recall the year we had a flash flood on New Year’s when I was in the legislature.  The water was coming faster than the trucks could evacuate the people and pull the trailers out.   Air Products was JM Megy and a truck couldn’t be located to take the titanium out of the facility.  If that product touches water it catches fire so this was a dangerous situation.   It was two in the morning and I was at the old EMS Center at the Courthouse when I said get to the Director, “we could get a Weirton Steel Truck.”   So I started making phone calls and everyone in the trucking department told they didn’t have the authority to release a truck it would have to be an executive decision.  I l realized there was only one Weirton Steel top executive that lived locally and whose number was in the phone book, so I called Bill Kiefer. He said he had no idea what I was talking about.,,,just that I needed a truck NOW. I met the truck at the top of the hill going into South Chester Street just in the nick of time as the water edged it’s way towards the plant.  The titanium got evacuated and I ended married to Bill Kiefer many years later.   But as I look back, I remember standing in my kitchen at 3 a.m. alone again on New Years Eve.  I thought I should at least have a glass of wine.  So after the cork broke and shattered in the bottle and persistent me found a pair of pantyhose to strain the wine through I toasted the New Year which might be perfect, but somehow worked for me.

….I’m optimistic for the new year.  We’ve survived a lot of rough road in 2023, but we’ve survived.  2024 holds a lot of promise and we have a lot of good people to maximize any progress that comes our way.

….Happy New Year, dear reader.  And, thank you.  You have been my outlet to point out when I think things are wrong; my vehicle to share the joyous and funny things I encounter along life’s journey; and my shoulder to lean on when it seemed my world was falling apart.